In this passage, we see at core that Moses represents God to the people, and he does so primarily through the ministry of the Word. This passage is about mediation and proclamation. It’s about God’s Man and God’s Word. We must glory in the Word of God, even when it comes to us written by men.
Our passage presents to us a series of contrasts. Things we’ve read of before in Exodus are now very different. And within our text, there is a contrast between the people of Israel, the object of God’s wrath, and Moses, the man of God’s friendship. So the passage shines a light on what sin does, and what it does to the humankind’s relationship with their Creator.
There is a holy beauty when God and man are in a state of reconciliation. This morning, as we look at this remaining bit on the covenant, I want us to appreciate how this passage turns our inner eye to the glory of the Old Covenant at Sinai
Then, we read in ch 20:1, “And God spoke all these words.” So, while Moses was up at the mountain peak, the Lord spoke audibly to him so that his people could hear. And what the Lord said that great day was none other than what we call the Ten Commandments. As they enter into covenant, God presents covenant stipulations that they must follow as his people. This morning, we will consider the first of these.
Our text this morning is the story of Israel’s first conflict after defeating Egypt. This morning, I think it’s better to approach our text from the ground up. I want us to understand what’s going on, and then draw lessons for us from what the passage reveals.
After the response of Israel to the Lord’s message through Moses in v 9, the passage has a chiastic or x-like pattern in vv 10-30. Moses is the focus in vv 10-12. Then Moses and Aaron in v 13. Next the genealogy of Moses and Aaron in vv 14-25, followed by a return to Aaron and Moses in vv 26-27, and finally, Moses again in vv 28-30. The passage confirms the truths of vv 1-8, and shows that the Exodus is ultimately the Lord’s work. The Lord is the one who delivers his people. Yes, God uses servants, but he is the one who gets the glory. The primary point of this sermon this morning is that the Lord accomplishes his purposes no matter what.
In a way similar to his call of Moses, God calls us to do extraordinary, things for his sake. He calls us to tasks we are unequal to. I include with this our response to God’s calling on us as Christians, in our vocations and responsibilities, and as evangelists and ministers of Christ to others. As we hear God’s response to Moses, I want us to respond the way God wants Moses to respond: with trust. We must trust the God who calls us.
When God reveals himself to men, he does so that they might believe on him and love him, so that we might worship and glorify him. So as we come face to face with a monumental passage like Exodus 3:1-6, the point must always be that we must respond to God’s true revelation of himself with faith and love. If it is true that we must respond to God’s true revelation of himself with faith and love, then we should want to know, how does God reveal himself to us? In the text, we see the Lord reveal himself to Moses in four ways:
Through Moses’s pilgrim wanderings, we see the reality that God is sovereign over the lives of his servants. We are not Moses, and none of us have his calling. Yet, in our own lives, as people who are chosen by God to be his own special possession, as the elect of God, we must trust the wise providence of our invisible God, even when God’s providence leads us to places and circumstances that to us are unexpected and confusing. How can we do this? Moses gives us three examples in our passage to us of how we ought to trust the wise providence of our invisible God.